Designing Wellbeing: NHS-Led Project Inspires Innovative Solutions from Design Learners

Our A Level Product Design learners recently embarked on a significant employer-led project, under the guidance of Henrietta, Head of Blended Learning for NHS England. The project challenged them to create stand-alone products or schemes for communal spaces, aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of NHS employees. This project also served as practical preparation for their upcoming Non-Exam Assessment (NEA), where learners will design a storage product tailored to individual preferences and uses. 

The NHS, being one of the UK's largest employers, encompasses a diverse range of disciplines. Henrietta emphasised the importance of staff wellbeing, highlighting how rest and recuperation (R&R) facilities are crucial for the organisation's success. 

Learners were tasked to identify a need within the NHS relating to R&R and design a solution that positively impacts staff wellbeing. The brief allowed for either a stand-alone product or an interior scheme for communal spaces. They were encouraged to adhere to the NHS' Design Principles, ensuring user-centric, iterative, and comprehensive design processes. 

This project was more than just an academic exercise; it was a perfect practice run for their final NEA (non-exam assessment) project. 

The results were nothing short of impressive. Learners produced innovative designs, demonstrating thoughtful consideration of key details. They had the opportunity to present their designs to Henrietta, gaining invaluable feedback. 

Derek Jones, teacher of Product Design, reflected on the project's impact: “The NHS is incredibly diverse, with experts in every field of employment. This Employer Led Project (ELP) was a fantastic chance for our learners to gain insights from professionals. They now have a solid body of work to reference for future projects.”

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